I know I’ve been slow with this novel, but reading Gay is often like reading McCarthy, or poetry:
They laid aside their tools when all the sun there was was a fierce chromatic rose flaring behind the thunderhead and by the time they reached the roadbed night was seeping down out of the trees and nighthawks came slant out of the mauve dusk like flung stones. (p. 23)
It’s all beautifully put, and I particularly like "nighthawks came slant out of the mauve dusk…" It’s a picture, it’s got color and movement. The use of "slant" is particularly useful here to establish what we all would simply have called the overused "swoop."
But the next sentence is where once again I see a repetition that’s not needed (in my mind) for reinforcement:
When they reached the house full dark had fallen and the house was cold and dark and enigmatic like some house abandoned, like some house where no one lived at all.
The double use of "dark" is too obvious, and the "abandoned" is the same way of saying "where no one lived at all." I think we’ve already gotten the image from previous reading that the two men who live here have a heavy sense of loss since the wife/mother has, well, abandoned them. I love imagery in novels, but when I become too aware of it, when it seems to scream out rather than add another facet, it’s like someone trying to make a point by speaking the same thing louder rather than offering it in a clearer way.